This series represents ongoing coverage of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, state Veterans Home at King and veterans issues across the state. Our first investigative stories, "Neglecting Wisconsin's Vets" and "Disservice to Vets?", highlight spending patterns and concerns about veteran care at the agency. We continue to follow the story with updates, including new citations from the federal government, changes in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ratings at the King home and the responses from lawmakers and agency officials.
More than 25 current and former King employees, residents and family members say residents are not receiving adequate care at King, even as the state brings in millions more each year, transferring the surplus money elsewhere.
In the last fiscal year, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs spent nearly double the amount to administer grants and run programs for veterans compared to the grants and programs themselves, according to data from legislative reports and the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
Using veteran nursing homes as million-dollar moneymakers for the state has been a longstanding practice in Wisconsin, endorsed by both political parties over the last decade.
Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs chief John Scocos is firing back against concerns about care at the largest veterans nursing home in the state.
Sen. Luther Olsen was on two Wisconsin political talk shows on Sunday to discuss the Cap Times' recent investigation into conditions at Wiscon…
Democratic Waupaca Mayor Brian Smith is calling out Gov. Scott Walker and state lawmakers for failing to provide more than $18 million to address maintenance issues at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.
Three veterans service organizations — the American Legion, AMVETS, and Military Order of the Purple Heart — released statements last week following a Cap Times investigation on conditions at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King. All three organizations receive thousands of dollars in grant money from the state's veterans agency.
Those who have lived and volunteered at King say the home has evolved from what it was envisioned to be when it was established 1887. The historic cottages are set to be torn down and have been replaced with high-rise residential towers. They say the community now feels like a college campus or a hospital complex.
A resident at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King died earlier this year after nursing staff there failed to administer CPR or lifesaving measures, federal inspectors found.
The state's Legislative Joint Audit Committee is set to meet Wednesday to consider whether to authorize a review of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.
Issues at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King have become the centerpiece of the 14th District state Senate race.
State health inspectors have given the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King 14 citations following its latest review of the 721-bed nursing facility in Waupaca County.
The federal VA Medical Center in Tomah has terminated its lease agreement with the nonprofit that runs a homeless shelter there after a veteran was found dead in one of its dorms.
Issue advocacy groups across the political spectrum are pouring money into the state's 14th Senate District race between Ripon Republican incumbent Luther Olsen and Democratic Waupaca Mayor Brian Smith.
The employee, one of several current and former workers at the nursing home who spoke with The Cap Times about their concerns on the condition anonymity for fear of retaliation, is being investigated by the state for allegedly violating agency rules, according to a letter received by the employee Monday.
Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary John Scocos will resign next year, Gov. Scott Walker announced Wednesday. Scocos is set to leave office January 7, 2017. He "offered his resignation to the governor to pursue other opportunities," said Walker spokesman Tom Evenson.
Senator Tammy Baldwin is calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to explain why it failed to post a serious citation it issued to the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King on its website for nearly eight months.
A human resources manager at the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs has filed a discrimination complaint with both state and federal agencies after she was denied a promotion.
Federal quality ratings of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King and the Veterans Home at Union Grove have dropped following inspections there conducted in September.
The federal government has issued the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King seven more citations after conducting a complaint investigation there earlier this month.
The citations, from a complaint investigation on December 8, were issued to MacArthur Hall, one of four halls on King’s campus in Waupaca County. They come two weeks after the hall was downgraded from a five-star rating to a four-star rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, an independent federal agency that regulates and rates skilled nursing facilities.
"Accounts of neglect, staffing shortages and crumbling facilities is alarming, and recent reports of systematic attempts to cover-up and obscure incidents of concern from state and federal oversight demands action," Baldwin wrote.
Millions of dollars in state money could be headed to Wisconsin’s veterans homes over the next two fiscal years, if lawmakers approve Gov. Sco…
Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Daniel Zimmerman, just over one month on the job, has reassigned the head of the King veterans home. The move comes as the home is being audited by the Legislature and while Gov. Scott Walker, in both his capital budget and biennial budget requests, has asked for more money to improve infrastructure and staffing there.
A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs inspection found three instances in which the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King failed to meet federal standards, including one where a resident fell from a bed and suffered a skull fracture and brain injuries.
State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, is circulating a bill that would require the state Department of Veterans Affairs to get permission from the Joint Finance Committee before it transfers any surplus money from its veterans nursing homes to other agency funds, reestablishing a requirement that was removed three years ago.